Glossary

Looking for rheumatic disease types, treatments, and associated rheumatology definitions? From abatacept to WOMAC, learn about common terms related to arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Looking for information about MACRA? See MACRA terms and definitions.

Sjögren’s syndrome

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dryness of mucous membranes, telangiectasias or purpuric spots on the face, and bilateral parotid enlargement; seen in menopausal women and often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Spinal stenosis

Condition where the open spaces in the spinal canal gradually narrow. This narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves inside the canal. Usually affects the neck and lower back and may cause symptoms like muscle weakness, numbness, pain, tingling in the extremities, or bladder control problems, but some patients have no symptoms. Most often occurs due to the wear and tear associated with aging, as well as back injuries from car accidents or contact sports. The condition seen in younger people may be due to a genetic disorder. Drugs may help ease inflammation and pain, and surgery may be needed to relieve spinal cord pressure in some cases.

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Splint

Appliance for preventing movement of a joint or for the fixation of displaced or moveable parts.

Spondyloarthritis (plural: Spondyloarthropathies)

Family of long-term (chronic) diseases of joints that occur in children (juvenile spondyloarthropathies) and adults. They include ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter’s syndrome (reactive arthritis), psoriatic arthritis, and joint problems linked to inflammatory bowel disease (enteropathic arthritis).

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Steroids

Large family of chemical substances, comprising many hormones, body constituents, and drugs, each containing the tetracyclic cyclopenta[a] phenanthrene skeleton.

Still’s disease

Form of juvenile chronic arthritis (formerly juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) characterized by high fever and signs of systemic illness that can exist for weeks or months before the onset of arthritis.

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Sulfonamide (acid-azosulfa compound) with a marked affinity for connective tissues, especially for those rich in elastin, used in ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Synovitis

Inflammation of a synovial membrane, especially that of a joint; in general, when unqualified, the same as arthritis.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Inflammatory connective tissue disease with variable features, frequently including fever, weakness and fatigability, joint pains or arthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritis, diffuse erythematous skin lesions on the face, neck, or upper extremities, with liquefaction degeneration of the basal layer and epidermal atrophy, lymphadenopathy, pleurisy or pericarditis, glomerular lesions, anemia, hyperglobulinemia, and a positive lupus erythematosus cell test result, with serum antibodies to nuclear protein and sometimes to double-stranded DNA and other substances.

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Systemic sclerosis (SSc)

Systemic disease characterized by formation of hyalinized and thickened collagenous fibrous tissue, with thickening of the skin and adhesion to underlying tissues (especially of the hands and face), dysphagia due to loss of peristalsis and submucosal fibrosis of the esophagus, dyspnea due to pulmonary fibrosis, myocardial fibrosis, and renal vascular changes resembling those of malignant hypertension.

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